We reckon there are three different kinds of Italian restaurant. The old-school red chequered tablecloth kind (hello, Don Corleone); the funky type (we’re looking at you, MATTO) and the sleek, high-end spots (Cipriani, Roberto’s, Il Borro, The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri). We can now add Quattro Passi to that last bunch.
It’s certainly a stylish place and knows it. However, some of the waiters could lay off the overbearing charm and instead listen to what you’re asking for (three waiters come to extol the virtues of the venue but none manage to bring a drinks list). Eventually one comes to the rescue and helps save the experience.
The menu will bring a smile to the faces of Italian food-lovers, though. Here we have a proper choice of antipasti, primi and secondi courses. Nothing seems too pricey for such a fancy dining room and what comes is pretty much very good in terms of presentation, texture and flavours.
Roasted octopus arrives looking like a work of art, with a touch of charring on the “polpo”, a swirl of green bean cream, tangy onion and crunchy corn.
Squid linguine is the highlight. The “pasta” is made from the squid itself and comes with passion fruit, potato and fish roe. It’s fishy, but the sweetness of the fruit balances it out nicely.
Mains of sea bass and lamb chops are also good. The amount of lamb on the latter is impressive, though some of the cutlets are a little overdone. And while the sea bass is cooked well, it’s a small portion so could do with a side to go with it.
The mandarin mousse dessert is a must, but, for a couple of scoops, the sorbet is overpriced.
While we can’t deny that Quattro Passi is impressive, sadly, we just don’t fall in love with it. The bill (for two) 1x roasted octopus Dhs85 1x squid tagiatella Dhs80 1x seared sea bass Dhs185 1x roasted lamb chops Dhs185 1x mandarin mousse Dhs65 1x sorbet Dhs85 1x large water Dhs85 total (including service) Dhs770
The bottom line A smart spot, but not overly special.